Many want to shed endosulfan-victim tag

Many want to shed endosulfan-victim tag

Endosulfan victim in Kasaragod.

Even as pressure has been mounting on the Kerala government to include more persons in the official list of endosulfan victims, some victims are pleading for elimination from the list. Reason: the endosulfan-victim tag is affecting the future prospects of the family members in different ways.

In one case, the marriage prospects of a young woman from an endosulfan-hit family was affected because a member in the family was an endosulfan victim. So the family wanted to get rid of the tag, according to sources in the Kerala revenue department that prepares the official list of victims. Another youth’s efforts to seek a job abroad has been hit owing to the endosulfan tag. Being enlisted as endosulfan victim, he is not getting medical clearance to the country he desires to go.

More pitiable is the plight of a couple. The wife had several miscarriages as she was an endosulfan victim. Hence, the couple decided to adopt a child. The adoption procedures prescribe that the prospective adoptive parents should be medically fit. The couple also approached the Kasargod district collectorate to eliminate them from the list and get a medical fitness certificate.

A senior official told DH, on the condition of anonymity, that though these pleas to eliminate from the list of endosulfan victims deserved humanitarian consideration, there is no provision now to eliminate a person from the list. The government will have to take a call on the matter.

Meanwhile, the endosulfan cell at Kasargod district collectorate is flooded with applications for inclusion in the official list of endosulfan victims so as to get benefits like pension.

“The government has to bring in foolproof guidelines on the parameters in black and white for considering one as an endosulfan victim. Though various proposals in this regard were mooted, there were no further initiatives,” a state revenue department official said.

Mohanan Pulikodan, an activist who worked with endosulfan victims, said that a lot of manipulations could have happened in the name of endosulfan victims. A good number of ineligible people managed to enter the list, while many deserving persons were not. There were even husbands, who once deserted their wife for giving birth to a child with deformities, later aligning with them eyeing the financial assistance received by endosulfan victims, he said.